Lion El’Jonson…This is Your Life!
It’s time for more Lorehammer! Instead of taking you through an overview of a Chapter or Legion as we have in the past, now seemed like the best time to introduce a sub-segment, a segment-within-a-segment, if you will. We’re going to take a look into the lives of some key figures in the World of Warhammer – the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, where better to start than Number One?
You’re my first, my last, my everything
The Warhammer Preview on Saturday 28th March gave us a whole lot to love. However, we are gathered here today to talk about one man in particular. As you might remember, we already took a dip into the mystery of the Dark Angels but now we’re talking about their daddy. It’s time for Lion El’Jonson.
The latest Primarch model was unveiled with the appropriate amount of ceremony (he’s not just any Primarch, after all). Not only do we get two weapons options in the Lion Blade and the Wolf Blade (which doesn’t just look absolutely awesome, but also gives an already pretty hench guy +3 strength), we get two heads, too. You can build the new Lion in all his Chris Evans glory, or, if you really want to cover up that BEAUTIFUL face, you can don that majestic helm.
As you would reasonably expect from both the Primarch range and the Lion himself, the base is gloriously strewn with Night Lords…y’know, if you wanna keep ’em that colour…
What a sick, masochistic Lion…
So, who is this guy? The daddy of the Dark Angels, Lion El’Jonson has a history worthy of our Arthurian legends – though I am sure the tales from his own time will provide a worthy substitute. Resolute and ruthless, the Lion’s tale is truly one for the ages.
When the infant Primarchs were cast into the unknown, each landed in a different corner of the galaxy. The corner into which Lion El’Jonson was hurled saw him crash onto the world of Caliban. Hostile but far from uninhabitable, Caliban’s human population shared the planet with monstrous Great Beasts, mutated and warped by the powers of Chaos. There were, however, institutions in place to protect the population from these creatures. It was one of these groups that happened upon the little lost Lion.
The Knights of the Order found our stranded Primarch. Among their number was San Luther, the greatest man of Caliban. (Yeah, we rhyme now.) It didn’t take long for Luther to take the infant under his wing and raise him in the Calibanite ways – training him in combat, and raising him within the Order. It was Luther himself that named the Primarch the Lion of the Forest in his native Low Gothic. He named him Lion El’Jonson. The Lion rose rapidly through the ranks of Calibanite society to become Grand Master of the Order, in time, coming to replace his mentor as the greatest man alive on this hostile and unforgiving planet.
Monster Hunter World: Caliban
The Lion oversaw the unification of (almost) all the Knightly Orders of Caliban. This feat would have been nigh impossible without the influence of his mentor Luther, however, El’Jonson wielded his power with great responsibility – just like we have always been told to. The Lion would lead crusades of these forces across the planet to slay as may of the Great Beasts as he could muster. During the final ride to eradicate the last of these creatures, the Lion was rather unceremoniously interrupted by some unexpected visitors…and they brought a gift.
It was the Space Marine forces of the Great Crusade, come to Caliban on their almighty mission. It became very clear very quickly to these “guests” and the Emperor himself that this Lion was no Calibanite. He was one of the long-lost Primarchs. Almost immediately, El’Jonson was gifted his 1st Legion. His Space Marines, created from the scant parts of himself that the Emperor could muster after the Primarch experiment. After the genetic magic and trials of the Legiones Astartes upon his loyal followers of the Orders, El’Jonson appointed Luther as his second in command. Once all the pomp and ceremony was over, the Lion named his newly acquired army, his sons, The Dark Angels in honour of an old Calibanite folk tale. Off they went on their Greatest Crusade yet.
All Knight Long
After something of a misunderstanding including a nuclear device ending up on a Dark Angels ship on the planet of Sarosh, the Lion, in his fury, sent Luther and junior librarian Zahriel back to Caliban. They weren’t alone. Along with them, in disgrace, were 200 more Dark Angels, banished to Caliban for allowing this device to find its way onto the flagship (even though Luther and Zahriel managed to eject it, saving the ship and crew). Even so, El’Jonson was fuming. Off he sent them, unaware of just how dangerous that decision may prove.
Reports of the Lion’s victories found their way back to his home-world, and fell upon proud ears. Not all ears, however, we so eager to hear this news. Luther had become preoccupied, it seemed, by a book of Chaos Lore. Within its pages, Ruinous Powers abounded and whispered Chaos into Luther’s ears. Slowly but surely, Luther feel to Chaos – and not just a little bit, he became a Chaos Champion…
Anyway, that was all on Caliban – let’s cut back to space and the Lion, he’s far from done causing trouble. Just ask his brother, Leman Russ. Their all-night brawl saw the dawn of decades of honour fights between the Space Wolves and the Dark Angels in a sometimes fatal echo of their father’s feud. It wasn’t this brother that would prove El’Jonson’s biggest difficulty, however. That honour goes Konrad Curze…
I’m Not Okay (I Promise)
The Lion’s beef with Konrad, the Night Haunter himself, was pretty ongoing, to put it lightly. Initially, the two had a bit of an incident on the planet of Tsagualsa. By incident, I, of course, mean that in an attempt to sway the Lion to the ways of Heresy, Curze tricked him into niceties and then promptly tried to choke him out. Luckily, a Dark Angel nearby ran his blade through Curze – not killing him, but saving his Primarch’s life.
Some time later, and after the acquisition of the Tuchula Engine (part of a trio of special engines that do cool stuff – think Infinity Stones. This one on its own lets you execute incredibly precise Warp jumps), El’Jonson was back on the hunt for the Night Haunter. The Lion wasn’t on his own, however. Along with two of his brothers, Robute Guilliman and Sangunius, the Lion formed a b̶o̶y̶ ̶b̶a̶n̶d̶ new council to continue the war against those who would betray the Emperor. The Imperium Secundus soon had their party crashed by in-fighting, political differences…and Konrad. When asked why he turned away from the Emperor, Curze’s only response was “Why not?” (a seemingly irrelevant detail to this story, but it was so emo I was absolutely duty bound to include it).
When Curze stood trial, it was ruled that he had only been acting as he was ever created to. Konrad, it seemed, was therefore not guilty of his previous…misdemeanours. Our Lion was having absolutely none of this. El’Jonson flew into a leonine rage, drawing his Lion Sword in fury. The sword didn’t last long. Guilliman and Sanguinius wrestled the weapon from their brother’s hands and shattered it. Lion El’Jonson was banished from the club, and that pretty much finished the Imperum Secundus.
Konrad was due for execution, however the Lion could not allow it. He stepped in to defend the brother he tried, quite a few times to kill himself. He knew that Curze, with his keen precognitive abilities, had forseen his own end at the hands of an assassin. As long as this were true, the Emperor was alive. As long as the Emperor was alive, there was hope.
The Lion sleeps tonight
This whole situation did a number on El’Jonson. He decided now was the time to return to Caliban. Oh, if only it was that easy. As soon as the Lion’s ship entered the atmosphere of his home planet, the bombardment began. In the Primarch’s absence, his trusted mentor, warped by the taint of Chaos, had taken control of Caliban. El’Jonson knew there was little option but to reciprocate the attack. The Primarch let loose on his home planet, shattering the surface before descending himself.
The clash between Luther and the Lion was momentous and unparalleled. The two fought viciously, their resolve and stoicism perfectly matched. It wasn’t until Luther, now a Chaos Champion, brought forth a whelming psychic attack that the Primarch knew the end was near. The Lion, it seemed, was fatally wounded. As he realised what havoc the Chaos had wrought, Luther broke free and fell to his knees. He would fight no more. A massive warp storm engulfed the planet as it broke apart, and it was then that the Dark Angels made planetfall.
The First Legion found Luther rambling incoherently about the crimes he had committed, about the “Watchers of the Night” taking the Lion, and how he would one day return and forgive him. Confused, the Dark Angels searched for their Primarch, but he was nowhere to be found. Luther, however, was taken prisoner deep inside the monastery fortress of The Rock.
The Primarch, once again, had been launched into the Warp. Poetic really, isn’t it? When the Lion emerged from his Chaos vacation, he was taken, as Luther predicted, by the Watchers of the Night, and placed in stasis. Barely alive, the Lion would remain in this transient state until the time came for him to fight for his Emperor once more. Hidden deep within The Rock, just like the greatest man before him, the Lion waits. His whereabouts are known only to the Emperor, and that is all that is needed. There he will wait until he need roar again.
I hope you enjoyed our not-so-whistlestop tour through the life of the Lion! Don’t forget to check out our other Warhammer pieces, and if you wanna get the rundown on the preview, check out the Warhammer Communty page!
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